From the people who brought us the critically acclaimed Salt Yard and Dehesa restaurants comes Opera Tavern, their latest Mediterranean inspired culinary venture in Covent Garden. Set in a former 19th Century pub, the owners have capitalised on many of the characterful building’s original features including its theatrical front windows and dark wood panelling. In addition, copper and brass lights and a first floor ceiling enveloped in white gold gilded wallpaper create a stylish interior. A mixture of wooden tables, willow green leather banquettes and bar stools help maintain an informal feel.
The ground floor sees an inviting bar bordering the length of the room, giving way to an open kitchen that sends some truly tempting aromas throughout the room. If you weren’t hungry before you arrived, you’ll be ready to eat your best friend once you’ve had a whiff of the Mediterranean dishes cooking away! If it’s a quick bite or a lively meal with a few drinks that you are after, then this is the place to be, whilst those after a slightly more formal evening can head to the upstairs dining room.
The name Opera Tavern may be a remnant of the pub that occupied the space previously, but the relentless symphony of scintillating flavours that emerge from the kitchen suggest that it may indeed be apt for this Spanish triumph. Like its siblings, the restaurant focuses on serving tapas style dishes inspired by the flavours of Spain and Italy. Additionally, in a nod to the current trend for grilled meat, the restaurant also has a robata grill where fresh Iberico pork meat is beautifully cooked in a variety of forms.
Highlights from the menu include Mini Iberico pork & fois gras burgers that melt in the mouth like warm butter; beautifully seasoned Iberica pigs head terrine; perfectly cooked Crispy squid & sea purslane with chilli aioli; and the most tender and flavoursome of lamb dishes in Salt Marsh Lamb with pumpkin gnocchi, salted anchovies, brown butter & mint. Seriously, with four of us dining, we must have ordered 15 dishes and the consistent deliciousness of practically each and every dish was to be applauded. The fun continues with the drinks too, with an extensive Spanish and Italian wine selection, as well as interesting sherry flights to explore.
Cuisine type: Spanish
Meal for two (excluding drinks): £65
23 Catherine St
London, WC2B 5JS
Tel: 020 7836 3680